On Wednesday, February 12, Lyric Opera of Chicago general director Anthony Freud and music director Sir Andrew Davis announced the company’s 66th season. A North American premiere, a Midwest premiere, and a special opening night concert with Renée Fleming are among the highlights. The 2020-2021 season will also be Sir Andrew’s last as music director.
Classical music, jazz, Celtic folksongs, and funk — these genres make up just a few of the words in Wynton Marsalis’ musical language. Violinist Nicola Benedetti calls Marsalis’ new violin concerto a “path of discovery.”
Thompson’s 2015 piece brings to light an issue that hits close to home in Chicago and countrywide: the killing of unarmed African American men. Thompson parallels Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ; using the liturgy as a guide, he weaves a piece that prompts conversation about race and social injustice.
Born in Damascus, Syria, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh’s home country has undergone years of political strife, violence, and a refugee crisis. Azmeh has looked to his own craft in order to draw attention to these ongoing struggles in the form of a concerto by Syrian composer Kareem Roustom.